As many of us prepare to head back to school under a hybrid model, we are having conversations about how we can return to school in a safe and conscientious way. PUSD has spent countless hours working through hygiene and safety protocols, working to set up cohorts, teacher testing systems, and preparing the physical spaces for a very different classroom school than many of us are used to. In anticipation of returning to school, there are a number of things that those of us who opted for the hybrid model can do to prepare our children and families:
Ensure your child has a mask s/he is comfortable wearing for an extended period of time: While most of our kids are old pros at mask-wearing by now, ensuring that your child realizes s/he will be wearing a mask for the full school day and is comfortable doing so will make the return to the classroom much smoother. Additionally, make sure you have multiple masks so that you can wash them after each use (a good rule of thumb is that our masks should be changed at least as often as we change our underwear - if in doubt, grab a clean one!).
Purchase a thermometer: We will all be required to take our children's temperature each day and upload it to the covid symptom tracking app before school.
Practice good hand-washing: Practicing good hand hygiene will be one of the critical components to keeping covid at bay.. Ensure your kids know how to wash their hands well (e.g. for 20 seconds, between their fingers, etc.) and are comfortable doing so regularly. No matter how many times I remind my kids to wash their hands, they always seem to forget (selective memory perhaps?). Additionally, if you have an older student, consider including a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your child’s backpack and remind them how and when to use it.
Get a flu shot: Students will be required to stay at home if they are displaying any cold or flu symptoms. Reduce the risk that your child will get sick by getting a flu shot now.
In addition, I am working with the other tri-school parents club presidents to prepare a social agreement that we are aiming to roll out in the next week in advance of our return to school. Our goal is to ensure that we have a comprehensive set of guidelines, based on current county and state regulations and recommendations, that we can use to guide our behavior with the goal of keeping our schools covid-free.